Xavier Le Roy enters the lions’ den with Kaldor Public Art Project Temporary Title- Daily Telegraph

November 12, 2015

By Elizabeth Fortescue


A group of 12 naked people is behaving like a pride of lions in a David Attenborough documentary.

They pad about on hands and knees, roll on their backs, rub past each other in the way of all felines, then flop down in a tangled group to rest.

After half an hour of such actions, the naked people approach some of the audience members on hands and knees and initiate quiet, random conversations.

“How is learning for you?” says Amaara Raheen, one of the 12, to two young women in the audience.

Welcome to the six-hour rehearsal for an artwork called Temporary Title, by French choreographer Xavier Le Roy who was also in attendance, but fully dressed.

These are rehearsals with a difference, where the public invited to watch and even to comment on what they’ve seen with a view to helping shape the final product.

Temporary Title is on at Carriageworks in Eveleigh, and the public can watch the rehearsals for five minutes or the whole day. It’s entirely up to them.

Rehearsals take place on Wednesday, November 18, and Thursday, November 19, and culminate in a premiere of the finished work on Friday, November 20 (3pm-9pm). The work can also be seen on the following two days, from noon until 6pm.

Le Roy himself will be present at all the rehearsals as well as at the finished work.

Because visitors can come and go according to their own will, Le Roy insists that Temporary Title is called an exhibition and not a performance. Also, that the people acting out the artist’s choreographic ideas are not performers but “collaborators”.

Le Roy says the inspiration behind the work was “intuitive”.

He was invited to Sydney by art patron John Kaldor, and Temporary Title is the 31st John Kaldor Public Art Project.

Like Kaldor, Carriageworks believes in “presenting the latest developments in contemporary art, free of charge to the public”, the centre’s director Lisa Havilah says.

For Amaara Raheen, Temporary Title allows her to think with her body as well as her mind.

“There’s a separation between the thinking of the body and of the mind,” Amaara says.

Le Roy says rules laid down for the collaborators include no standing up. He says nudity is necessary for the piece because it strips everyone back to the same basics.

Le Roy is a contemporary art pioneer, John Kaldor says.

“He’s one of the first artists to bring movement and dance into gallery spaces,” he says.

“This really is a paradigm shift. This is where I think art is going in the 21st Century.”

As well as rehearsing and presenting Temporary Title, Xavier Le Roy will perform his solo work, Self Unfinished, at Carriageworks from November 17-19 at 8pm.

Image: French choreographer Xavier Le Roy in rehearsal for his work Temporary Title. Picture: Supplied